Is there a benefit to a child with CdLS getting a frenectomy? Our speech pathologist has recommended this.
My experience has been that individuals who are very familiar with cleft palate are more knowledgeable about speech and oral-motor functioning than are other professionals. A slight regression would not surprise me, knowing how other similar events affect children with CdLS. I only have general knowledge in the area of recuperation, but I suspect it would be a somewhat short recuperation period, probably under a week. The oral cavity (mouth and associated structures) is very highly innervated and tends to heal quickly.
Inform his present speech therapists about the procedure. They will probably monitor the range of his tongue movements by listening to and watching how he articulates sounds such as "th, k, g" and "-ing."
I would recommend treating it. General anesthesia would be the best way to go because it will immobilize the patient and the surgeon can focus on the procedure and obtain a more therapeutic result, as opposed to concentrating on both the sedation and the procedure. Also, any other dental work that needs to be done, such as sealants and restorations or extractions if necessary, can be completed at the same time. After healing, consider seeing a myofacial therapist for tongue therapy in conjunction with his present speech therapist. I do agree that his speech probably will improve with effective frenectomy treatment and myofacial therapy as well as with continued speech therapy. I would request a pediatric anesthesiologist. Any other elective procedures may also be able to be scheduled at the same time.
DC-Dental /TK 7-13-10
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